DFA calls on Filipinos to respect Saudi laws


DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez: Respect Saudi laws. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday appealed to Filipinos in Saudi Arabia to respect the laws of the kingdom after 18 Philippine nationals were arrested for protesting outside the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (Polo) in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez, spokesman for the DFA, said the 18 migrant workers arrested were among 35 Filipinos, including seven women and three children, who held a sit-in in front of the Polo in Riyadh demanding that their repatriation be expedited.

“In light of this incident, we would like to call on citizens to respect Saudi laws. We likewise urge individuals and groups not to agitate our [compatriots] and instead encourage them to cooperate with the [Philippine] Embassy, the Polo and the Saudi government,” Hernandez said.

Protests prohibited

“Mass actions are prohibited under Saudi law. Participation in such activities will only jeopardize the processing of their repatriation,” he said.

Hernandez said Polo officials and Saudi diplomatic police tried several times to appeal to the group to disperse peacefully, but the protesters allegedly refused to budge.

He said the group “attempted to enter” the Polo premises.

After 11 p.m. on Tuesday, the Saudi diplomatic police moved in to remove the protesters from the diplomatic quarters.

Eighteen men were rounded up, but 15 were immediately released and three held overnight on suspicion they were the leaders of the protest.

The women and children were moved to the Philippine Embassy’s shelter for migrant workers awaiting repatriation.

Deadline extended

The Filipinos staged the protest a day before the Saudi government extended to Nov. 3 the July 3 deadline for illegal migrant workers in the kingdom to correct their status.

The extension was allowed to accommodate foreign governments concerned about the welfare of their citizens.

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  • kanoy

    TOO much SHABU!!—they thought they where in the USA!!!!!!!!

  • gaudiponce

    mga pasaway… I thought they go thru PDOS seminar before leaving the Philippines.

    • resortman

      PDOS my @ss..! It doesn’t help…its just a place where applicants are being sold with ridiculous print outs and dictionaries…also for banks and money transfer business advertise…

  • Akoaykanoy

    Hernandez filipinos knows how to respect laws of other counry you have to tell the arab people if they were in RP to respect our laws.

    • Penny Lane

      It is not the fault of foreigners if you are not enforcing or sometimes enforcing your own laws.

  • Penny Lane

    Respect the laws of all nations, no ifs, no buts..period, end of story!!!!

  • jpastor

    That’s one of the results of diaspora as per Sec Lima.
    To Pinoys in Saudi that is Di-bale-basta-kita-pera.

  • toknoy

    Bakit kasi hindi pag bawal ang pag punta ng domestic helper sa saudi. To prevent them from leaving as domestic helper to middle east knowing majority of them will end up being abused, rape or killed by people who employe them, di sana nagkakaproblema sa maraming kababayan natin na tumatakas sa kanilang amo na nanghihingi ng tulong sa ating embahada. Bago paman sila makapunta sa embassy, karamihan galing na sila sa kulungan sa kasong di man lang nila alam kung bakit. Embassy people, please help them immediately repatriate.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    If they think that Saudi is as lax as the PH in enforcing its laws then they deserve it.

  • OFW Franklin

    If those OFW are protesting inside the diplomatic quarter or compound of Philippines consul/embassy. As a sovereign nation no local authority of KSA can enter that compound and remove the protesters. Unless the Philippines authority permitted the local authority to do such action. I can see how the DFA treat their countrymen. Other first before the welfare of their citizen.

  • disqusted0fu

    Many Filipinos do not even respect their own laws because law implementation in the PH is not good. Worse, some government officials also disobey the laws, even orders coming from the supreme court.

  • opinyonlangpo

    Just shows how desperate these people are, it is also very hot there now. The DFA and DOLE should do more expediting their repatriation.

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